Aaron Rose once said: “In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary.”
This is a good rule to live by as an event planner tackling the decorating portion of
event creation. In the last video we covered a number of decorating
elements that bring the theme of an event to visual and emotional life. Lighting is
one of the most impactful ways to decorate your events, and event lighting has so many
options the category deserves its own video. Following are over 30 lighting possibilities
for events. Take note of the images used for examples of each and work closely and imaginatively
with a lighting technician in order to achieve results as good or better at each and every
one of your events. Aquabrites: AquaBrites are 1.5 inch floralytes
that are fully submersible and run for 20 hours from a battery. They can be programmed
for slow blink, fast blink and steady light. These lights are used for lighting liquid-filled
vessels from within. Battery operated lights: In addition to aquabrites
and floralytes, there are a number of batter-run lights that work well for under-table lighting,
under-vase lighting, are strung on bendable wires and called fairy lights, look like real
wax candles with flickering flames, create LED lit branches and flowers, are round orbs,
are walkway stick lights, and even run lit tabletop fountains. These LED lights can typically
stay fully powered for 10-20 hours. Balloon lights: LED lighted Balloons. Can
be set for slow blink, fast blink and steady on. They work equally well with air and helium
for about 10 hours. They fir almost any balloon size and can be removed and reused.
Black lights: Black lights have something of a reversing effect, making things that
are white or light colored very bright and sending dark items into the deep shadows.
Black lighting is very dramatic and should be used selectively; some people find it a
bit irritating to the eyes, so consider creating a separate black lit space so your guests
can move in and out of it at will. Bubble Machines: Bubble machines aren’t
actually lights, but the bubbles they create make very interesting light effects when lit
up by other light sources. Like water effects, disco balls and other effects that have motion,
bubble machine bubbles add an ethereal light quality to an event space.
Candles: Nothing is more romantic than candlelight, and candlelight for events is really only
appropriate for such occasions as wedding receptions, Valentine’s and New Years parties
and the like. Real candles do pose a fire hazard and need to be tended or replaced as
they burn down. An alternative to these are the many electric and LED candles available
that give almost the same effect as genuine wax candles, but without the maintenance.
Alcohol and kerosene lanterns are also an option; again, be mindful of fire potential.
Chandeliers: The term chandelier typically evokes a mental picture of massive creations
of lighted faceted crystal, but chandeliers come in all shapes, sizes and colors including
cast iron, ultra-modern high tensile wire with glass ball globes, spirals of lighted
class tubing, faux tree branches made of metal sporting end bulbs, and so very much more.
From classic to contemporary and everything in between, chandelier lighting is appropriate
for everything from board meetings to gala affairs.
Crystal fibers: Crystal fibers, like bubbles from bubble machines, aren’t actual lights
either, but they give the effect of light and have highly reflective properties when
underlit or spotlighted. These fibers, when arranged in clear glassware, create glowing
single- or multi-color visuals. Ellipisodials: Typically used for stage lighting,
these profile spotlights are excellent for creating sharp silhouettes or shadows. They
are also capable of very precisely and brightling lighting select spots and area of activity.
Flame Lights: From real gas flame lights (outdoor use only) to silk flame lighting—lit fabric
that simulates flame as it flutters in the heat, and gel flames. These real and faux
flame lights are ideal for indoor and outdoor events where the theme is safari, island,
historic, etc. Floralytes: Most floralytes are programmable
for blinking or steady light and last 36 to 48 hours. These battery run lights come in
white and a variety of colors and can be used inside almost anything that needs to be lit
from the inside out. Some floralytes are submersible. Glow necklaces : Not just for kids to wear
and play with, glow necklaces and bracelets can be woven into floral and other arrangements
of layered inside glass vessels to create fun and contemporary lighting effects. Use
single colors or mix any number of them for different effects; glow necklaces also come
in sharp light as well as soft light. Gobo lights: Gobo lights are used for projecting
images from the names of the bride and groom, to corporate logos and decorative abstracts
onto walls, floors, ceilings and drapes. As an event planner, you can design one or many
Gobo templates for your event which your lighting technician can convert to the proper format
for the light fixture. H2O Effect: There are a number of different
types of event lights that are capable of projecting watery effects through the audience
or on surfaces. Although the effect of crystal blues seas is a favorite, these same lights
create fire and psychedelic color effects as well.
LED lights: LED or light emitting diode lights are low-energy use light used in dozens of
event lighting types from floralytes to balloon lights, LED string lights to tabletop lighted
fountains to glowing orbs. These lights are convenient because may are battery operated,
requiring no electrical outlets or extension cords, are mostly weatherproof and last for
many hours, or even days. Light Cubes: There are two common types of
light cubes: furniture style—typically stools and coffee tables—and faux ice cubes for
beverages and vases. All lit with LED lights, these cubes emit a soft, bright or even crystal
faceted light and create ultra-modern spaces and make great conversation starters when
beverages are served at any event. Lighted furniture: Furniture lit from the
inside out is not restricted to cubes. Some event supply companies offer standup cocktail
tables, counters and stools, and pre-lit pillars for events. You can also have almost any piece
of furniture underlit with LED lighting on a custom basis.
Lit trees: From pre-lit artificial ficus and evergreens, to LED and Christmas tree light
wired crystal and metal trees, to bendable LED wired wire trees and artificial palm trees,
there are special effects available for events that have space for large and small decorative
trees. The small versions are suitable for tabletops, while the lifesize versions are
ideal for backdrops, privacy screens and bringing the feeling of the outdoors in.
Luminarias : A holiday fixture of the Southwest, luminaries are traditionally brown paper lunch
sacks weighed down with a cup or so of sand and lit from the inside with a candle. Besides
the obvious fire danger, the shortcoming of these lights is their vulnerability to precipitation.
Event suppliers now have authentic looking luminarias made of plastic and wax and lit
with flickering standard and LED bulbs that are suitable for indoors or out.
Mirror balls: Also not lights themselves, mirror balls reflect light in sparkling pinpoints
of various colors depending on how they are lighted. They are essential elements for disc-themed
events and are also available as free-standing orbs of all sizes that can be used at light
emphasizing décor. Net lighting: Net lighting, similar to that
available for lighting shrubs and small trees at Christmas, is excellent for starlight ceiling
and backdrop effects. It can also be used under glass table tops and clear plexiglass
dance floors for a dining or dancing in the stars effect.
Novelty lights: These can be absolutely any type of lamp or light. From sports equipment
to types of cars, cartoon characters to rubber chickens, almost everything imaginable is
available as a novelty light. If you can’t fine the type you want, ask your technician
to custom configure your novelty light needs. Orbs: Whether glass, plastic, string art or
paper, orbs lit from the inside create an unforgettable visual. You can use anything
transparent that’s round for interior or exterior effects with standard or LED light
fixtures; ask your lighting technician for advice or help so the material doesn’t overheat
and melt or catch fire. Paper lanterns : The traditional paper lanterns
are round and come in every color and size, but paper lanterns are also available in stars
and other geometrics, animal shapes, tubes, boxes, plain or ornamented, and much more.
Paper lanterns can be hung or freestanding and are a colorful, lightweight, portable
and versatile type of lighting for many event types.
Pinspots: Pinspot spotlights can create much the same effect as starlight lighting or highlight
very specific areas of interest in an event space. Pinspot spotlights come with a variety
of color filters as well. Rope Lights: Rope lights, often used for marking
walkways and low-lighting stairs and ramps, are flexible and easily molded onto shapes
or straightened for vertical and horizontal light strip effects. They can also be coiled
inside a vase of fish bowl to create specialized custom lighting.
Spotlights: From minute streams of light to wide Vs of diffused uplighting, spotlights
are a staple for event lighting. Whenever you need to draw your attendees focus to an
area of an event space or want to use broad expanses of area as light effects, just shine
a spotlight on them from above or below. Unlike many event lighting types, spotlights are
appropriate for every single event type. Star and laser effect: These lights project
different colored and shaped pinpoints on walls, floors and ceiling. The effect can
be anything from a starry night to multi-colored prisms.
String lights: String lights are a step up from Christmas tree lights in that they typically
have one-inch plus round bulbs, often enclosed by small lanterns, gauzy insects, crystal
globes, and practically anything else you can imagine. They are especially great for
ceiling lighting, Strobes: Strobe lights create an interesting
effect in a dark space because the room goes from dark to lit in fractions of a second,
creating a visual jerking motion. If you use strobes, do so sparingly because they are
know to trigger photosensitive seizures in some people.
Under table lights: Under table lighting serves two purposes, it is soft and elegant and it
helps people take their seat in otherwise lowly lit spaces. Make sure you test the lighting
with your color choices of table linens as some linens do not light well or appear to
be a different color when underlit. Wall wash lights: Wall washing can be done
with spotlights and any other light type that can be directed. Wall washing is suitable
for any type of event space and gives rooms a relaxing warm or cool glow depending on
light filter colors. This video could easily have showcases a hundred
more creative lighting options for events, but the ones we have discussed are readily
available and open up hundreds of design options. When planning your event lighting, keep in
mind that almost anything that is transparent of opaque can be used for lighting effects,
but make sure you work with an experienced lighting technician so your light effects
are reliable, achieve what you want them to, and do not pose any burn or fire hazards.
Have fun with light! You’ll often find it to give you the most effect for the least